The high cost of housing in the United States is not, however, to be attributed solely to these factors. There are many others that enter into the situation. As most houses are built on borrowed money, the cost of financing such enterprises is unduly high. Money is easily obtainable for the first mortgage at reasonable rates of interest, varying from five to six per cent in different parts of the country; but when it comes to borrowing the funds necessary to cover one-third of the cost of the enterprise, generally covered by what is known as a second mortgage, the rates for such financing are apt to be high - due to the risk and the need of money.
There are undoubtedly economies that could be brought about in house construction through mass production and through other means. The fact remains, however, that, speaking generally for the whole country, the cost is much too high at the present time. In fact, it is no exaggeration to say that in most parts of the country there have been few new houses built since the War for the occupancy of the average workingman. He has had to be content with older houses, houses that have been vacated by more prosperous people.
There is still much to be done in this direction. There is need for research in the field of building materials and building processes, from which there should result economies in the construction of our future houses. That such economies are likely to result seems to be apparent. There are already signs visible of radical and startling changes in this part of the field of housing.